Third-Ranked Bruins Cruise Past Idaho
HONOLULU, Hawai'i - Senior Tabi Love posted 11 kills, senior Rachael Kidder also added 11 kills in just two sets of action and freshman Becca Strehlow recorded 37 assists and eight digs, as the third-ranked Bruins routed Idaho on Friday at the Verizon Volleyball Challenge. Set scores were 25-16, 25-13, 25-13.
The Bruins improve to 4-1 with the win, while the Vandals fall to 2-6.
Love hit a career-best .625 with only one error in 16 attempts, while Kidder swung at a .450 percentage with just two errors in 20 swings. Sophomore Karsta Lowe came off the bench to record eight kills in two sets with just two errors in 10 attacks for a .600 percentage, while sophomore Zoë Nightingale had no hitting errors for the third straight match with six kills in eight attempts (.750). The Bruins hit .519 as a team, the highest hitting percentage in a match for UCLA in the rally scoring era (since 2001).
The Bruins led from start to finish in the opening set, scoring the first four points on three kills by Kidder and one by Nightingale. The closest the Vandals would get the rest of the way was two points. Leading 14-10, the Bruins scored five of six on two kills from Nightingale, a Kidder solo block and a pair of Idaho errors.
The Vandals closed to within five at 19-14, but the Bruins ended the set with a 6-2 run to win the opener 25-16. During the final run, junior Mariana Aquino, Love and Strehlow had kills, Aquino and Love teamed up for a block and senior Bojana Todorovic served an ace. The clinching point came on an Idaho attack error. Kidder paced the Bruins with six kills, while Love and Nightingale each had four. Strehlow added five digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Vandals .406 to .091 in the first.
Despite five ties in the second set, the Bruins never trailed to go up 2-0 in the match. With UCLA up by three at 6-3, Idaho came back to tie the score at 8, 9 and 10-all. However, the Bruins fired a 9-0 run to break it open. Consecutive kills by Lowe, Kidder, junior Kelly Reeves, Nightingale and Kidder again made it 15-10.
Back-to-back aces by Reeves, an Idaho attack error and a Reeves kill put the Bruins up by nine. An Idaho sideout ended the run, but UCLA finished the set on a 6-2 spurt to win it 25-13. Love had two kills during the final run, freshman Maddy Klineman added one, Strehlow and freshman Hannah Boland teamed up for a block and the Vandals committed two errors, including a service miscue on the second set point. Kidder added five more kills in the second, while Love posted three. Todorovic added five digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Vandals .560 to .240.
The Bruins trailed for the first time in the match when the Vandals scored the first point of the third set, but UCLA netted the next two and were never behind for the rest of the stanza. Up 5-4, the Bruins scored seven of nine on two kills apiece by Love and Lowe, a Nightingale ace, a Klineman kill and an Idaho attack error to take a 12-6 advantage.
Up by eight at 16-8, the Vandals scored four straight to cut their deficit to four at 16-12. However, UCLA recorded nine of the final 10 points of the match to win the third 25-13. Two Idaho errors made it 18-12, and after a Vandal sideout, the Bruins got the final seven. Boland and Love each had two kills during the last 7-0 run, Nightingale added an ace and Idaho made two attack errors, including one on match point. Lowe led the way with six kills in the third, while Klineman and Love had four apiece, as the Bruins out-hit the Vandals .636 to .091.
The Bruins return to the court on Saturday when they face San Diego State at 8 p.m. PT. Live stats and video are available, with links on the women's volleyball schedule page at UCLABruins.com.
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